December 8, 2010
As Israel investigates the alleged negligence and other causes responsible for the devastating fires that have killed several dozen prison guards traveling by bus, displaced thousands and destroyed property, one thing is for certain: The world community has done for Israel what Israel has so often done for the world, namely, come to its aid.
Sometimes what goes around actually does come around. Israel has been a beacon in sending its emergency services and teams around the globe in times of distress (Haiti's recent distress being one of those instances), so it is incredibly warming to see the response from any number of nations, including some surprise contributors.
Perhaps the most unexpected assistance has come from Turkey, which has been at odds with Israel since the Gaza flotilla sailing under its flag. Yet Turkey offered, and Israel accepted, the use of firefighting aircraft to assist in the response effort. In addition, aid has flowed in from Jordan, Greece, Britain, Cyprus, the United States, Russia, Egypt, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Romania. Also, the Palestinian Authority sent a firefighting team to help in the heroic efforts which have brought the fires under control.
There are many ways to support the aid efforts. The Jewish National Fund has a Forest Fire Emergency Campaign you can support at www.jnf.org, and you can also make a gift through the Jewish Federation, which supports emergency efforts of both the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Joint Distribution Committee. Other giving opportunities are presented on page 7.